It seemed clear that Bob Dylan was too busy to accept his Nobel Prize in Literature from the beginning — remember all those phone call stories? — but now it’s official. The legendary singer-songwriter won’t attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in his honor.
In a press release from The Swedish Academy to the Associated Press, the group confirmed that Dylan would not be in attendance to accept the prize when they hold their ceremony on December 10.
“He wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible,” they wrote. “We look forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, which he must give – it is the only requirement – within six months counting from December 10, 2016.”
The Academy also pointed out that Dylan is far from the first person to opt not to attend their awards ceremony.
“That laureates decide not to come is unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional,” they said. “In the recent past, several laureates have, for various reasons, been unable to come to Stockholm to receive the prize, among them Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, and Elfriede Jelinek. The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan.”
When Dylan was awarded the prize earlier this year, everyone had an opinion on it except the man himself. When he finally did address it, he seemed willing to attend the ceremony. However, it looks like he has since changed his mind. And should the committee who gave Dylan the prize feel spurned, they should take the words of our own Caitlin White to heart and remember that Dylan doesn’t owe them anything.